Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
The best yet
on 3 February 2009
Tha author's editor told him this was his best novel yet, and I agree. Yet you would have had to read the others to get here. Inspector Chen travels to Beijing, visits the Forbidden City, Jingshan Park, and a hutong or two, all well-known to those of you who will have been to Beijing for the Olympics, for real or by television. Inspector Chen's memories of life as a university student in Beijing as well as his investigation in to the private life of Chairman Mao give further color to the story. Most of all, this is a story about not forgetting. The many layers of this tale lay like dried leaves around a tree in autumn, waiting to be collected. Like many of his fellow authors, Qiu's choice to write about Beijing at this time of the Olympics is no coincidence. Like others, he is raising his fist, and saying, I shall never forget.
Beware, however, that Qiu's English has improved substantially, and although his style remains wonderful, and wonderfully Chinese, it has lost its awkwardness. I feel the author is thinking in English now, rather than in Chinese, and then translating. I'm not sure if this is good or bad, it's just different.